The large corporate clients we have, tend to have very little loyalty. If you can’t do precisely what they want, they have no qualms about dropping you and using the next events company on their list.
Over time this has given us the mindset of Yosser Hughes in boys from the black stuff. He was desperate for a job and any job that popped up he would proclaim “gizza job, I can do that.” Anytime a major client asks if we can do something the answer is always “Of course, been doing that for years, piece of cake”. Once we get off the phone it then becomes, “How the hell are we going to do this?”
Espresso Coffee Cart
My wife walked into the office one Monday morning, and picked up an email printed out on my desk. It was the contract for providing an espresso coffee cart to HSBC’s headquarters for an event on the Wednesday, two days hence.
She looked at me inquiringly and asked “Who is doing that job for us?”
“No one, we are doing it ourselves”
She raised an eyebrow and replied “We don’t have an effing espresso coffee cart!”
“Ha”, says I, “Not a problem, Ian is out building the cart now, the coffee machine and equipment is being delivered in the morning, and I am on a Barista training course tomorrow evening”
On the day the first customer was like, “A cappuccino, two lattes, an espresso and a Machiato please”. WTF, help, I can’t do this.
When I had calmed down, I realised that every drink started with an espresso, you just added different amounts of steamed milk and foam. They wanted 5 drinks, you made 5 espressos, steamed a large jug of milk, then poured to suit. Easy peasy. In fact they were so impressed that they had us back on a number of occasions. The espresso cart is now a firm favourite amongst many of our staff.
Sony And Nissan Walk Into A Bar
A couple of years later I got a call from a long term client, an events company we worked with quite often. “Jason, do you do mobile bars, we have a massive job on offer from Sony and Nissan, they need a bar to celebrate the end of a worldwide competition they have been running.”, basically players on the Sony GT racing game could compete to win a place on the actual Nissan racing driver development program.
“Yep, we can do that, when is it?”
Lol, “A week today”, gulp. “Er yeh no problem”.
When I told my wife she said that this time I was on my own, she wasn’t coming to that event as I was going to fall flat on my face in front of a major corporate client.
I spent the day feverishly ordering equipment we would need. Luckily a mate of mine Dean, owned a local pub, and he wrote me a list of what I needed. We sourced a company that supplied portable bar sections and set off the next morning to collect them. I took my staff down to Dean’s pub to treat them to a night out, on the condition that Dean let them pull their own pints. And we managed to hire a kid that had worked in a cocktail bar, so we had at least one member of staff who had some idea of what he was doing.
Our New Bar
On the day everything went off perfectly. Well almost, I had ran water through the Jagermeister dispenser to clean it, and hadn’t gotten all of it out, with the result that it froze solid and wouldn’t dispense. But apart from that it was a fabulous night. Especially when Sabine Schmitz on a segway managed to run Martin Brundle over lol, what a booze monster she was. By the nights end she was demanding we just pour whatever shots were left into a glass and she would drink that.
After that one I think we can safely borrow the S.A.S. motto of “Who Dares Wins”.
Since then we have successfully acquired various bits of kit at short notice, crepe machines, Dutch Poffertjes and with a couple hours practice managed to provide a professional service, looking like we had done it all of our lives.
Corporate clients want the impossible, we are happy to oblige.